# Illustrator Special Effects #9: Blue Comet Background

In this quick tip tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a falling comet effect. Using the basic shape tools, some gradients and the mesh tool, you will be able to create nice looking vector background. So, let’s get started!

1. Create a new blank document and set the canvas size to 800 x 600px. Select the Rectangle Tool (M) from the Tools Panel on the left and draw a rectangular shape with the following dimensions: width – 800px, height – 480px. Go to Color Panel and set the fill color of the selected object to pure black (R=0 G= 0 B= 0).

2. Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool and draw a long thin, horizontal shape which dimensions should be set to about 630 x 35px. When you’re done, choose the black swatch in the Swatches panel to set the fill color. Then, select the Mesh Tool (U) and add two mesh lines by clicking on the shape. If you decide to go into more detail, you can add as many mesh lines as you want. Using the Direct Selection Tool (A) select the middle mesh points and apply the colors to them, as shown below.

Tip: Press the up/down arrows on the keyboard to adjust the radius of the rounded rectangle corners while drawing it.

3. Make sure the object is still selected, and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur… and in the Radius field enter 5px. Open the Transparency Panel and change the Blending Mode to Screen (Opacity 100%). Now place the object on the black background.

4. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a long thin, horizontal ellipse which dimensions should be set to 450 x 30px. Activate the Gradient Panel and fill the resulting shape with radial gradients: white (R=255 G=255 B=255), medium blue (R=0 G=115 B=255) and black (R=0 G=0 B=0). Create another ellipse and use the same color scheme as we did for the previous one. Position this object over another ellipse and group (Ctrl+G) them. Once done, make several copies of the objects and arrange them all over the comet tail we have created earlier, as shown below. In the Transparency Panel change the Blending Mode to Screen (Opacity 100%).

5. Let’s create another comet element. Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw several circles in different sizes and put them over the comet tail. Open up the Gradient Panel and fill the resulting shapes with radial gradients, light blue (R=0, G=187, B=223), dark blue (R=0, G=65, B=127) and black (R=0, G=0, B=0), as shown below. Select all the circles, and in the Transparency Panel set the Blending Mode to Screen (Opacity 100%).

6. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) from the Tools Panel and create another perfect circle (hold Shift to constrain the proportions). Keep the object selected and fill the resulting shape with radial gradients as shown below: white (R=255, G=255, B=255), medium blue (R=0, G=115, B=255) and black (R=0, G=0, B=0). Open up the Transparency Panel and change the Blending Mode to Screen (Opacity 100%). Make several copies and resize the objects. Now arrange the objects all over the comet (refer to the image).

7. We are going to create another comet element. Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) once more, draw an ellipse and set the dimensions to about 700px x 265px. Now, go to the Gradient Panel and fill the selected object with radial gradients as shown below: light blue (R=0, G=187, B=223), dark blue (R=0, G=65, B=127) and pure black (R=0, G=0, B=0). Set the Blending Mode to Screen (Opacity 100%) in the Transparency Panel. Keep the object selected and use Bring to Front (Shift+Ctrl+]) command, to place the object on the top.

8. Choose the Paintbrush Tool (B) from the Tools Panel and draw several wiggly lines as shown below. Keep the paths selected, and in the Stroke Panel choose the ‘Width Profile 1’, to change the Variable Width Profile of the stroke. Go to the Color Panel and set the stroke color to white (R=255, G=255, B=255). In the Stroke Panel set the Stroke Weight to 1pt. Then, go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen… to open the dialog box. Once done, alter the settings to around 5 Size, 3 Detail, Absolute and Corner and click OK. In the Transparency Panel reduce the opacity to about 75%.

9. Finally, we are going to create some comet sparks. Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw as much irregular shapes as you want, as shown on the image below. Pick the color from the Color Panel and fill the objects with pure white (R=255, G=255, B=255). When done, group (Ctrl+G) all the objects and make several copies of them. Scale down the copies a bit and arrange them all over the comet tail. We’re done with the tutorial now. I hope you liked it.

View the list of all 101 Illustrator special effects tricks at 101 Illustrator Special Effects.